Well done with your response to this week’s discussion. Investigating the effects of the pandemic is currently critically important right now and in the near future, but numerous researchers have problems collecting data, because of the ongoing social and political issues associated with the pandemic. How would a researcher overcome social or political issues to collect data? What would be a research question and hypothesis that coincides with a social issue of interest?
Research is a methodical examination process that is aimed at describing, explaining, predicting, or controlling the observed singularity. For research to be regarded as detailed, it must include valid data and logical methods allowing the analysis process to follow a structure that can be repeated to prove the outcomes. The scientific approach to research is founded on a series of procedures developed and followed by scientists in their attempt to solve specific questions. The process involves, the collection of data using various methodologies. The step is followed by the development of hypotheses in a bid to explain the outcome of the processed data. Lastly, experiments are conducted to confirm the hypotheses developed. It is also noteworthy that scientific researchers are expected to be reviewed to validate the outcome. The inquiry process assesses the data collection and processing procedures. Moreover, the developed hypotheses are experimented with by separate scientists in the same field validating the outcome.
From a personal perspective, research on various social issues such as individual effects of political, health, and education policies, national diversity, and discrimination offers a deeper insight into society. Appreciating the structure, functionality, and unity of societal members is important as it creates the basis of humanity. Haslam et al. (2018), express similar notions by stating that social research offers a better approach in understanding how people interact, it also provides the ability to fact-check and validates responses relating to human interaction (Haslam et al., 2018). The approach is particularly important with the recent implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and social structures and interactions. The effects of the pandemic have been varied with numerous urban areas experiencing demonstrations, however, little consideration has been given to rural America.
The peer-reviewed study to be assessed is by Mueller et al. (2021) where the researchers focus on the implications of COVID-19 on rural populations understanding the incomplete view of the pandemic. The article would be referenced and cited following the APA regulations as it qualifies as a scientific journal article. Additionally, the research paper is a primary source as the study was conducted to understand the current pandemic. Alternatively, secondary sources report on the content published by others, such sources are acceptable however, their uses are limited in the type of research. For example, a secondary source would state, according to Mueller et al. (2020), rural people have been neglected from studies addressing the social and economic implications of the pandemic (Mueller et al., 2020). Thus, the national evidence-based comprehension of the health crisis is incomplete.
An original research refers to the studies that contribute new knowledge that is yet to be tackled or were not considered. In the case of Mueller et al.’s (2021) study, it is deemed original research due to numerous facets not addressed by other researchers investigating the effects of the pandemic. Thus, it is not expounding on already known information, rather, it is contributing to the growing knowledge concerning the effects of the global crisis. Research may either be basic research, where the assessment is theoretical, or applied research where the research is practical. Nonetheless, the study is applied research as it relies on data collected from rural America to assess the implications of the pandemic.
The literature gap presented in the study by Mueller et al. (2021) is the lack of accurate data that identifies the current situations. The bulk of the data used in the research was sourced from surveys in one month in 2020 (Mueller et al., 2020). The period of data collection is viewed as limited to offer a wide scope understanding of the impacts of the virus. In other words, more research is needed to better understand the dynamic implications the pandemic has caused. According to researchers, the COVID-19 virus is novel and its true health implications are yet to be understood (Mueller et al., 2020). Thus, appreciating the full impact of the pandemic is not possible. It has had numerous and diverse effects on local, state, and national politics, the healthcare system, and security among other social aspects.
Overall, for a more inclusive assessment of the implications of COVID-19 in rural America, more reliable and apt primary data must be collected from rural America. Without the data, it would be impossible and impractical to impose evidence-based policies as they will not be able to address the issues affecting the people (Mueller et al., 2020). The need for more data on the healthcare, educational, security, and economic implications of the pandemic will support the extension of the study offering a better social appreciation of COVID-19’s effects.
Haslam, S., McMahon, C., Cruwys, T., Haslam, C., Jetten, J., & Steffens, N. (2018). Social cure, what social cure? The propensity to underestimate the importance of social factors for health. Social Science & Medicine, 198, 14-21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.12.020
Mueller, J., McConnell, K., Burow, P., Pofahl, K., Merdjanoff, A., & Farrell, J. (2020). Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on rural America. Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences, 118(1), 2019378118. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2019378118